Monday, April 30, 2012

bee co-op

A few weeks ago I organized a Bee Co-op for our homeschool group. We had 70 kids eager to learn all about bees!

I had a beekeeper come teach the kids all about bees and how important they are to our survival. I learned a ton of things too! The kids all had a turn to search for the Queen Bee who he had marked with a white spot. He also gave us all samples of his pure honey--yum!

Everyone got to make a bee snack. Family Fun supplied us with this fabulous snack idea.

I found these fun pencil toppers on Oriental Trading dot com.

Faith got to be the bee who hid the flower (with the nectar) for the other kids to find.

All of these smiling faces are waiting patiently for me to hand them a prize at the end of the afternoon . . . these cute bee pencils.

I love organizing these co-ops! I am starting to throw around ideas in my head for next year . . . a friend of mine did a similar co-op a few years back in which they learned all about hearts . . . and she ordered real sheep hearts for kids to investigate . . . with rubber gloves of course.

Friday, April 13, 2012

friendship bouquet

Do you ever want to give a gift with a theme? A little personality? Something that is different? A mentor mom of mine (from 10 years ago) taught me how to make these fun bouquets!

Last night we celebrated a friend turning 40. These are just a few of her favorite things . . . turned into a bouquet! The flowers are stir sticks (the floral tape and leaves can be removed), the candy boxes are hot glued to two wooden skewers (for extra support), the gift cards are tucked into holders that I made and then hot glued to the skewers and the card rests in a card holder that I picked up at the grocery store floral department. (Just ask them for one and they'll usually give one to you or have you pay a minimal amount.) 

Here are the staples that you will need: floral foam, floral tape, floral picks (the green picks with a wire at the top), floral leaves and wooden skewers. (I picked up skewers that were different lengths, but you can always cut them down as needed.) You'll need colored foil or colored cellophane to use as your filler. I have made a 4th of July bouquet in the past and used red and blue cellophane as filler. You'll also need a pretty pot or container. I picked this one up at the Dollar store.

Cut your foil or cellophane to 6-8" squares. Take the middle of the square and wrap the floral picks wire securely around. It usually takes 12-20 squares to fill the container, depending on how big the container is and how many other things you have in it.

The flowers you see in the first picture are stir sticks. I secured them to a skewer with floral tape and wrapped a leaf into the floral tape as well. These can later be deconstructed and used. 

A view from the top. The possibilities are endless with a flower bouquet. A few themes that I have done in the past . . . 4th of July, scrapbooking (with lots of little embellishments hot glued to the skewers), baby shower, coffee . . . you can do pretty much anything that is all about your friend!

The total cost usually ranges from $15-$25 depending on what you include as the gifts. You could even do these in a big coffee mug on a smaller scale and it would probably cost a little less. I've found places like Cost Plus to be great for purchases that are small and unique and are easy to hot glue (and then later remove). The key is to keep things in their original packaging so that the hot glue doesn't ruin the gift. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

crazy hair day

On the days that I worry that my oldest will never come out of her shell . . . these are the kind of pictures I like to look at. From the time she was little, she has been my quiet and reserved child. When I'd drop her off in the nursery at church, I'd get comments all the time about how easy going she was and how good she was . . . as she got older, those comments turned into, "She is so helpful and such a good listener and she's SO QUIET!" I guess it's nice to have a quiet child in Sunday School class when you have a roomful of 20 kids and a few energetic boys among the bunch. It's nice to have a girl who will listen and not disrupt story time.

But it's not so fun to have a 7-year old who has a hard time answering the cashier at the grocery store when she asks, "Where did you get that beautiful red hair?" If I had a dime for the number of times my daughter has been asked that question, I'd be rich. Has she ever been able to answer the question? Not even once! We have role played how to answer a cashier numerous times and I have yet to see her answer on her own--she has answered when I've given her a nudge in the back--but it's never been much above a whisper!

I know that God has created her the way she is, and I LOVE her gentle and quiet spirit. She is truly a joy to raise and a huge blessing to me. So, it's on those days when I worry that she will always be shy that I look at these pictures. She has a wild side to her when she is around those she is comfortable with! She talks to my adult friends that she is around frequently. I know she has it in her to carry on a conversation. I just have to remind myself to be patient and give her time. And most importantly, I have to remind myself not to compare her to other 7-year-olds that can recite poetry in front of an audience of parents or carry on a lengthy conversation with a cashier. I have friends whose children are much more verbal that tell me a verbal child can be exhausting . . . all those questions about life!!! : )

In case you are wondering about the crazy hair . . . the homeschool group we are a part of offers extra curricular classes two afternoons a week and we had "Crazy Hair Day" a couple of weeks ago. Both girls LOVED getting ready for this!

Even though Paige doesn't love talking in front of people she doesn't know well, she doesn't mind the attention she gets from looking funny! Several of the kids talked about how crazy her hair was for days afterwards. : )

Have you had a shy child that has eventually come out of their shell?

Monday, April 9, 2012

easter week wrap up

We had a great spring break and spent a lot of time talking about what Easter is all about . . .

We started our week making Resurrection Gardens and reading the Resurrection story. The wheat grass is supposed to sprout around Easter Sunday . . . ours is a little slow, but that's okay. We also made Resurrection Rolls which the kids LOVED! This was my first time making these rolls and it was so fun to see the empty "tomb!"

Later in the week we made pink bunnies with Nutter Butter cookies. Nothing fancy, but the kids had fun! We also learned how to draw rabbits and used watercolor pencils to color them. Forgot to take a picture, but you can see one of them on the table in the background!

Seth was more interested in eating the cookie quickly than posing for a picture.

We also dyed eggs and painted some of them too. Paige got creative and made a bunny and a chick with some pipe cleaners. We made this Easter Egg Holder out of plastic eggs--the girls were pretty excited about this.

We went to the Easter service at our church on Saturday night (avoided the crowds!) and on Sunday morning we had our Easter egg hunt at the park. Daddy hid them extra good this year!

I hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

favorites at five

I try and do one layout per year of the girls' favorites. I started when Faith was three years old. It's so fun to see how their preferences change . . . and how some of them stay the same!

My favorite part of the March Kit was the "number line" that I used on the right hand side of this layout. Brandi cut this out using her Silhouette to include in all the kits that were sold. Thanks so much Brandi!!

Have a great day! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

cards to share

Happy Monday morning! It's spring break for us this week and we have many crafts planned into our week . . . and some fun science experiments that the girls want to do. I am excited for a relaxed schedule with no big plans.

Here are some cards the I made using the recent March kit:

I hope your day is fabulous and that you are able to do something fun!